Nottingham carbon dioxide recycling firm raises £6.8m
Deep Branch, the Nottingham-base carbon dioxide recycling company, today announced it has completed an £6.83m Series A investment round.
The investment complements a combined £3.42 in funding secured from UK and EU grant-funded projects scheduled from Q4 2020 to Q1 2023.
Novo Holdings and DSM Venturing led the round, with participation from Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures and Barclays Sustainable Impact Capital. Johan Hueffer, senior partner at Novo Holdings, and Rob Beudeker, investment director at DSM Venturing, will join Deep Branch’s board of directors. Lars Topholm, head of research at Carnegie Investment Bank in Denmark and non-executive board member of Deep Branch since 2019, has been elected chair of the Board.
Deep Branch addresses both the sustainability of animal farming and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions with its CO2-to-protein technology, creating what it claims is the first scalable path for a truly sustainable protein generation process from a waste product. Its revolutionary ingredient, Proton™, the firm says, is not just a more environmentally-friendly feed ingredient, but will also provide a regular supply of a price-stable, price-competitive, and nutritionally optimal bulk protein.
Hueffer said:“A key objective of the Novo Holdings strategy is to grow our investment in biotechnology companies that can demonstrate scalability and long-term value generation.”
“Decarbonisation is fundamental to reaching net-zero emissions targets, and Deep Branch is positioned to be a leading technology as demand for innovative solutions increases.”
Pieter Wolters, managing director of DSM Venturing, said: “Protein is vital for good health yet producing it is one of the largest greenhouse gas contributors. At DSM we’re applying our scientific know-how to feed the world more sustainably, such as reducing the carbon footprint of animal farming and creating alternatives to wild-caught fish for feed. Deep Branch has potentially transformational technology and we’re excited to become an investor.”
The Series A financing will enable the completion of Deep Branch’s Scale-Up Hub at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in the Netherlands, producing the first pilot-scale batches of Proton™ for full nutritional validation with Europe’s leading feed producers, including BioMar and AB Agri. It will also enable the company to inform key engineering design work for its first commercial-scale production facility.
Cindi Choi, managing director at Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures, said: “Having first met the Deep Branch team two years ago, it is impressive to see the progression from the first proof of concept to fine-tuning the right recipes for Proton™ with key partners in the feed industry. Deep Branch is now putting the building blocks in place needed to accelerate the scaling of production and we’re thrilled to help fuel their momentum. Their innovation could be instrumental to decarbonize the agri-food industry, which accounts today for close to a 1/4th of global greenhouse gases emissions annually.”
James Ferrier, director, principal ynvestments at Barclays, added: “Deep Branch‘s technology has the potential to be part of the solution to overcome the biggest environmental challenges of our time. Their carbon friendly approach to sustainable food production will support the transition to a low-carbon economy and we are excited to be part of the next stage of their growth.”
“The financial support and extensive expertise this investment round brings us will accelerate the execution of our vision. It reflects our heavy emphasis on collaboration, complementing our existing partnerships by bringing in new aspects of the value chain, including hydrogen, scaling bioprocesses, and commercial finance.”
Peter Rowe, CEO of Deep Branch, said: “We regard our technology as a platform that we will leverage to address new markets with Proton™, as well as expanding our product line to more CO2-based products.”
Rowe added: “We are concluding a mapping exercise to determine the optimal location for our first Proton™ commercial production facility. Norway’s world-leading position in both the salmon industry and production of low-carbon hydrogen make it ideal from an offtake and input perspective, putting it high on our list. To meet our goal of commercial production by 2023, we have already begun engaging the necessary partners to make this a reality.”